With momentum on its side, the winning 8Star Motorsports team has its sights set on podium finishes in the TUDOR United SportsCar and Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championships
The Grand Prix of Kansas is unlike any other event on the IMSA calendar for the fact that the headlining TUDOR Championship will share the 3.81km track with competitors from the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship during two 45-minute races.
8Star is committed to nurturing young and talented prospective sportcar racers through its involvement in the IMSA-sanctioned Prototype Lites series and will field a two-car entry for Christian Potolicchio and Lamont Harris at Kansas Speedway.
Potolicchio was one of the stars of the show during Sebring’s 2014 curtain-raiser in March, as the 18-year old pulled off remarkable drives through the field to take a brace of solid points finishes, although the young Venezuelan has bigger ambitions for Kansas.
Meanwhile, Mexico’s Luis Diaz joined 19-year old hotshot Sean Rayhall in the 8Star fold for last month’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (3-4 May), where they raced to second place in the LMPC ranks.
The teammates were unfortunate to miss out on the class win last time out at Laguna Seca and are reluctant to settle for anything less than a spot on the Kansas Speedway podium, wanting to strengthen their bid for the 2014 TUDOR Championship title.
“We are definitely targeting the win in Kansas but nothing is set in stone in racing,” said Diaz. There’s no doubt 8Star Motorsports has all the ingredients to win, so that has to be the goal. It will be interesting to see how things develop with the new shorter race format. It’s a complete unknown, but I trust that 8Star’s ORECA FLM09 will be quick straight out of the blocks and Sean and I will be able to just concentrate on driving and achieving victory.
“The car in general was very good at Laguna Seca and the team has a strong base setup that only requires slight changes so I’m sure we’ll be able to quickly adapt the configuration to Kansas Speedway. Other than driving it in the simulator and watching some races on TV, I have no previous experience of the circuit. It seems interesting and the races will be made all-the-more exciting by the fact that we’ll be sharing the track with the IMSA Lites cars.
He added: “It's such a competitive field and there are so many new variables to consider that it’s really hard to say which team is most likely to stand between us and victory. You obviously have to look at those who have won races this year, like CORE Autosports and Starworks, and you can never discount the RSR team.”
Rayhall said: “I’m very excited about going to Kansas, especially as we’re carrying some momentum from the Laguna Seca race. This is going to be a unique event, as we will share track time with the Copper Tires Prototype Lites runners – this will certainly add another variable to the racing! Looking at our chances at Kansas Speedway, we have a very fast car and the capability of bringing more podium finishes home in the #25 8Star Motorsports machine.”